Cable fight threatens NLCS; World Series in Philly and New York

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There’s a re-transmission rights fight going on between FOX and Cablevision that could put the NLCS and the World Series in peril for New York and Philly Cablevision subscribers:

Fox and Cablevision ramped up the war of words behind their retransmission battle Tuesday. Both
sides dug their heels in, as it began to look less likely that a deal
could be hammered out by midnight Saturday morning — when the cable
operator’s deal to carry WNYW and WWOR in New York and WTXF in
Philadelphia (as well as select News Corp.-owned cable networks) is set
to expire.

This has become a quite familiar story. Network wants $X per subscriber to allow the cable company to carry the station, cable company wants to pay something less than $X. Most of the time the stuff gets worked out before the big game, whatever it is.

But if not: hey, you got some old rabbit ears in the hall closet, your friend has a satellite dish and there’s a bar down the street, right?

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.